In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are supporting our 12th child in Ethiopia after her adoption could not pass court.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Concerts (and Bread)

We surprised the crew with a trip to a major Christian concert outside of DC. It was Mandisa and Danny Gokey along with the lesser known, but good, Love and the Outcomes and Jasmine Murrey. Alei and Alyssa didn't come, but Moriah and Chris joined us. We really packed out a balcony row. 

The kids enjoyed it - it was the first big concert most of them had ever been to.

Elijah really wanted to meet Jasmine, but JD took him one direction to the bathroom during intermission and the girls and I went the other. We got to meet her and snap a picture.

I am so bummed out, but I forgot to take a picture of my kids in their own concert black and white attire yesterday, as they participated in a county choir in a historic church built back in the 1700's. It was beautiful and they looked darling, but we were rushing from our church pot-luck to it and I forgot to get a group shot. Here's the best I have and Bella was totally blocked by the conductor. 

And lastly, Alei and I have been on a strict no-carb eating plan and she isn't in favor of messing it up for Thanksgiving, so she made low-carb bread that we are aging and turning into low-carb stuffing. It should be interesting....at least the bread is. It tastes pretty good though.

Happy Thanksgiving if I don't make it back before then.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

This and That

I can't believe it's almost Thanksgiving! Here's a few of our happenings. First of all, I would love to note that we are at such a blessed point in our lives with our home school community and new church plant. It is our 5th year at Classical Conversations and we have all grown and learned so much. This sweet favorite is a new "student" this year and Julia often totes her around. I was a bit shocked when Elijah walked over carrying her - I'm sure it's the first time he carried a baby. (He was given her by her momma) and he said, "boy, she is heavier than she looks!" 

I think the church plant will have to be it's own blog post.

 A recent family fun event is bowling with family friends. We do an adult, a teen and a younger lane and we all have a good time. The kids have improved, as have the adults.

So, I get the longevity award for bedroom furniture; the set I had before buying this new set, I got when I was 10! The headboard currently lives in my parents' attic and our current bed did not have one at all. This was a careful purchase that I have wanted for many years! This is the mostly finished bedroom -

I am keeping my other old furniture as guest room furniture. The mess made by moving out the old and in the new was remarkable. The TV cabinet, etc, that did reside in the bedroom no longer fits, so I still have a few remaining items in the school room awaiting a new home.

Here's our retreat mid-move - 

and the school room -

Like our lives aren't crazy enough, we had a horrible donkey incident. Chewy attacked and hurt our smallest goat, Alice. If Elijah and Selah had not arrived at the right time, he would have killed her. I don't understand what happened to provoke him to turn on the very animal he is paid (in grain and hay) to protect? I am not feeling very good about Chewy continuing his job at Jenny's Happy Farm. I have a friend with horses that is coming to visit him over time and we are going to relocate him to her farm or another unknown farm. I am not willing to sell him at auction or even to someone I don't know at least through someone else.

Alice has made a complete recovery and I am so thankful. She spent the first day sleeping on the dog bed in the kitchen. The vet wasn't confident that something wasn't broken as she didn't even attempt to stand that day. She is still weak but has rejoined the other goats in the barn and field.

Julia spent the whole day with her. Doing school -

and napping - look at that smile on Alice's face.


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Girls Take Two

Just one more quick picture of my little girls before I write a "real" blog post. This was taken Sunday morning in the mist walking into church.

 Selah had an elephant on her shirt and Bella said, "I like your elephant shirt". Selah replied, "It'll be yours in a year or so. True enough. 


Friday, November 3, 2017

New Hair

Selah and Bella got their hair relaxed today; we are thinking they can just wear it down now. That wipes "braid home" off my to-do list! It does make them look older, but I really like the look.


Thursday, November 2, 2017

More Fall -

 I intended to get the baby bushes pictures right up, although I'm sure my average readers have fared alright with the wait. I used fake stone edging from Home Depot that has spikes to secure into the ground. We thought it may only be temporary, as JD would build edges that match our 1,000 retaining walls, but we really like it and may just leave it long term. 

This is the right side of the front porch - 


Here's the long side run on the left side of the porch. Once the garage is done, I'm going to put a little matching "Christmas" tree at the end also. The ground just isn't leveled completely yet. We moved the roses out along the fence and are hopeful they will make it; they were dying where they were. 

I also planted three blackberry bushes on the middle layer of the back yard. I wish I had purchased six as I'm sure they are going to be sold out when I finally make it back to Lowe's to see; I guess I could mail order them.

Here is our October 31st happenings. My attention to costume was exactly as follows:

One hour before time to leave for Harvest Party, I asked the kids if they were dressing up. A few said yes. I said, "well, go find a costume." They are minimal, but qualified for candy at the trunks of the Harvest Party. We went to a local church for the first time with local friends, and it was small but nice. There was just a lot of eating hot dogs and hanging out with friends time.

There was a face painting booth, so the lady helped Selah be more "indiany" - 

And Bella more "princessy" - Bella is a super adorable kid, but her fake smiles at this age aren't working in her favor. It seems they all go through this stage.

Here is Elijah's little friend, Tie. He spent the afternoon of the 31st with us since his momma is Tori's CC Challenge tutor. Our classes were moved to Monday this week but Tori's stayed Tuesday. Elijah has loved him since he came home from China well over a year ago.

Speaking of a different kind of love, since the English language is lacking in different needed words for love - I love avocado oil if you haven't tried it. It can cook in high temps, unlike olive oil, and has such a good flavor. We use it to cook eggs, meats and veggies. We buy ours at Costco, of course, but I'm sure it may be available other places. I highly recommend it. 

Yes, this was Nov. 1st and I let Bella sleep in her face paint and wear it the next day. It stayed on well so she must have slept on her back only. I figured the sheets needed to be changed anyway!